“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren’t all that different.”
Over Christmas break I read the Hunger Games trilogy, and my first week home for the summer I read the Divergent trilogy [btw, still crying over the end of Allegiant].
I’m sure you all probably know, in both series there is a Heroine who fights, battles and ultimately kicks-butt for the ones she loves. Both heroines are remarkably brave, strong, and self-aware.
What has moved me the most about these books is the theme of sacrifice. While both Katniss and Tris are fighting to end the horrible evil facing them, they are always willing to give their own lives in the place of their loved ones. Especially in Divergent, Tris learns and demonstrates what it means to be truly selfless.
At the end of both of these series I have felt both empowered and insignificant at the same time. Empowered by their great [even though it is fictional] example. Insignificant because my life is in no way similar to theirs. I am not Katniss Everdeen who is trying to overthrow the Capitol and save my family and friends from the games. And I am not Tris Prior who overthrows one corrupt governmental system after another while seeking the truth about human nature, love and forgiveness.
I do not have some great battle to fight. I am not asked to sacrifice my life for my loved ones. I do not face a constant threat to our lives.
Or do I?
I believe I do.
What is my battle? My battle is to help get my loved ones to Heaven.
I believe that every day I am called upon to be brave, to be selfless, and to sacrifice my own life for those I love, so that we may walk this path towards Heaven together.
I am called upon to die to myself every time I have a selfish desire.
I am called to lay down my life every time I become a stumbling block to another.
I am called to be selfless when I make decisions, to put their greater good before my own.
And I am called to be brave in the face of sin: the evil that threatens to not only take away our temporal lives but more importantly, our eternal lives.
So I should not despair and feel like I am not doing anything significant with my life. I should not feel like I do not have a great challenge to fight for. No, I have the greatest battle to fight. As do you. If we succeed, the entire population of heaven will be forever changed because of us (and God’s grace, of course).
To quote Divergent, “Fear doesn’t shut you down, it wakes you up.” Let us be woken up by the fear that if we are not selfless and do not sacrifice ourselves, both we and our loved ones may never enjoy the eternal delight of God.